By Louise Ure
I have changed in many ways – some large, some small – since my husband died two and a half months ago. And not all of the changes have been bad.
I’ve lost almost forty pounds and grown stronger. I’ve taken on tasks that I previously thought I could never face and done them well. I even planted and grew a rose bush that looked more like a dowsing rod when I got it than a living plant.
I wound up replacing all my jackets, blazers, raincoats, vests and pocketed sweatshirts, not so much because of the weight loss as it was the mouse. Emboldened by the loss of the pup Cisco, my furry intruder screwed up his courage and scrambled his way into the pocket of each of my jackets where I kept the Charlie Bear dog treats for Cisco and his pals on the street. Then, fat and drowsy, he couldn’t climb out again, so he chewed through the bottom of each pocket in his escape. I tell you, I’m not putting cheese in the mouse trap anymore. I’m stuffing it with Charlie Bears.
But there have also been smaller, more insidious changes that I didn’t see coming and cannot explain.
I’ve suddenly become afraid of driving at night and have had to restructure my outings to venture forth only in daylight. One friend graciously humors me with 4:30 dinners at her house as if I were a Senior Citizen at an Early Bird buffet.
I can’t work crossword puzzles anymore. Remember my earlier facility with them? In ink. In three languages. In half the time of their “average solving.” It’s gone. I can’t even get the easy clues anymore.
And books hold less interest for me. I’m still reading, but taking no pleasure in either the world created there or the techniques the author used to bring that world to life. I hope that comes back.
And then there’s writing. Or, better stated, not writing.
I didn’t write at all during Bruce’s illness and decline; my mind only focused on him. But I also haven’t written during these ten weeks he’s been gone.
I am truly at a loss for words.
And part of me thinks that’s okay.
Unlike so many of my writer-brethren, I’ve never felt that writing defined me. I was successful and had accomplishments before I started writing and hope the same will someday be true again. Writing is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done and while I’m outrageously proud of the three books I’ve had published, I’d be perfectly happy if I never wrote another word again.
I’ve never felt “compelled” to write. Never felt that my day or my life would be incomplete without it.
I’m not here to announce my retirement from the writing community, at least not yet, but you’ll probably see more posts from me in the future that come from the point of view of a reader — an observer — rather than a writer. And what the hell, a reader’s slant might be a good addition here at Murderati.
In any case, it’s the best I can do. I have nothing to say.